Publishing company Simon & Schuster rejected demands to spike former vice president Mike Pence’s upcoming book after leftist employees began circulating a petition against it.
“As a publisher in this polarized era, we have experienced outrage from both sides of the political divide and from different constituencies and groups,” CEO Jonathan Karp wrote in a letter sent to employees, according to The Hill.
“But we come to work each day to publish, not cancel, which is the most extreme decision a publisher can make, and one that runs counter to the very core of our mission to publish a diversity of voices and perspectives,” Karp added. “We will, therefore, proceed in our publishing agreement with Vice President Mike Pence.”
Earlier this month, Simon & Schuster announced it had signed a deal with Pence for two books. The first, his autobiography, is scheduled to be published in 2023.
Karp asked employees to understand that some of the authors the company works with will hold views that not everyone agrees with.
“For those who think some of our titles are a step backward, let’s appreciate the many Simon & Schuster books that are taking us two steps forward,” Karp wrote.
“Let’s also acknowledge that we don’t agree on which titles are taking us forward and backward!” he continued. “That tension—that push and pull—is a healthy part of the dialectic provided by classically liberal publishing companies.”
However, Simon & Schuster has bailed on conservative authors before. In January, the company abandoned a book deal with Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., citing his objection to the Electoral College’s vote.
“As a publisher it will always be our mission to amplify a variety of voices and viewpoints: At the same time we take seriously our larger public responsibility as citizens, and cannot support Senator Hawley after his role in what became a dangerous threat,” the company said at the time.
Pence was on the receiving end of that threat during the Jan. 6 uprising at the US Capitol, when some supporters of then-President Donald Trump turned on him for agreeing to preside over the joint session of Congress.
Although long vilified by activists on the Left for his conservative, Christian views, Pence’s defiance of Trump briefly turned him into a sympathetic figure for Democrats seeking to craft a narrative that the insurrection was an attack on democracy and not simply a political protest.
Republican Trump critics, such as Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, have long enjoyed special status among the leftist establishment due to their usefulness in undermining the conservative message.
Romney was recently bestowed a “Profile in Courage” award by the Kennedy family due to his heroism in being the only Republican in Congress to support Trump’s first impeachment.
Headline USA’s Ben Sellers contributed to this report.